August 27, 2010

India’s young batsmen fail to meet the challenge yet again


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Edged and gone. It was a length delivery outside the off stump and he has a lame poke at it. He fished out and got an edge.

That has been the story for the India’s promising young batsmen, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and even Suresh Raina in the Micromax Cup 2010 being held in Dambulla where the ball has been seaming around quite a bit and batting is much more a challenging proposition than going out and compile heaps of runs on the placid pitches at home. They have kept the opposition wicketkeepers and slip fielders busy all along.

Although skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and premier batsman, Virender Sehwag, who has once again shown how to make the adjustment on a different kind of surface, have played down the failure of their young brigade but I am sure they must be getting sick with the sight of their ‘future stars’ falling apart so tamely.

The technique of all four youngsters, Karthik, Kohli, Sharma and Raina, has been found wanting on tracks where the ball moves and it poses a serious question mark against them. They have been at sea against the balls doing a bit in the air or off the wicket.

Their repeated soft dismissals have brought the team under immense pressure. Two times they were rescued by Sehwag and when he was unable to deliver on the other two occasions India lost heavily after being bundled out for 88 and 103.

India's scores after 15 overs in their league matches have been 54 for five, 47 for three, 56 for five and 81 for four. Whatever the fate of the final against Sri Lanka, the Indian selectors will have to reassess their young batsmen before picking them up again for future games.

While Sharma and Kohli have failed to impress with the bat, they have caught the attention also for not accepting the verdict of the umpires. Every time Sharma is given out he has something to pass the impression that the umpire has committed a blunder by ruling him out.

Kohli is not much different either. He was stunned and didn’t move when given out caught behind by Ashoka de Silva in the game against New Zealand. He stared at the umpire and looked at his partner before stirring into action and walking away very slowly indeed.

It was Kohli’s faulty technique and not an umpiring blunder. It was a length delivery just outside off stump and he pushed out at it with bat away from the body. The replays confirmed that there was some noise plus the snickometer also showed there was a nick.

It’s really strange to find these young batsmen struggle so much even against not the most lethal bowling attacks. How can they be expected to come good when the quality of bowling is of the highest class? They need to improve their technique and temperament if they wish to succeed at the international level.

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